Friday, January 4, 2013

A greener home for cars

I stumbled onto what's below after Wagner Murray Architects posted a notification and link on the UNC Charlotte Urban Institute's Facebook page. (If you haven't "liked" us, now's your chance: Click here or,  on Facebook, search for  The link led to the Charlotte architecture firm's newly redesigned blog, and what especially caught my eye was the entry proposing a vertical green wall.

Update, Saturday Jan. 5: I ran into architect David Wagner this morning at the Charlotte Regional Farmers Market. (And yes, Nise was there with her fabulous lettuce, the last day until the spring crop. Mostly these winter days you'll find local meats, sweet potatoes, kale, turnips and carrots.) He confirmed that he's the author of the Wagner Murray blog, so I've edited what's below to reflect that.

Here's an illustration, below, courtesy of the Wagner Murray blog:

The idea architect David Wagner proposes is to convert an existing parking deck in uptown Charlotte into a green wall (constructed with living plants) topped with a photovoltaic installation. Here's a link to the item.

It's reminiscent of ideas others have proposed here and there to try to enliven, visually, some of the many dead spots built in our downtown during the design-bleak years of the 1970s, '80s and '90s.

Here's a link to an essay, from Charlotte writer Tracey Crowe, in the website I run, in which she proposes using green walls to spruce up (pun intended) some bleak areas: "Turn uptown's street canyons green."

And PlanCharlotte's Keihly Moore has suggested similar ideas, among others, to soften those dull walls: "The great walls of Charlotte."

How many of you recognize the spot where the proposed green wall is illustrated?

 It's this uptown parking deck on College Street at East Third Street:

It's always seemed to me a wasted opportunity for some whimsy. If the green wall thing doesn't work out, I'd like to see a game where you can drop a large ball at the top and watch it spiral all the way down to the ground floor.  


Anonymous said...

Great idea. Seriously. The spiral ramp and adjacent parking deck makes that piece of 3rd Street so impersonal and uninviting. Putting a green (literally) facade on it can only help.

And as long as my tax money doesn't go to pay for it (I'm looking at you City Council, you CCCP, and you Washington, among others), go hog wild with it. I can think of many other places to do that with, too.

Anyone have some extra kudzu lying around?

Anonymous said...

thanks for sharing! Once as a volunteer I held a science class for 5th graders and made them design a parking lot. Once I reminded them that parking lots are for humans and not cars, it was amazing how creative they became. Can we hold a competition for science classes to design a green and fun parking garage? It can be a functional parking garage doubled as green lung and tripled as ball drop and skate board alley!

Wagner Murray said...

thanks for sharing this!

Adam said...

It completely transforms the appearance of a generic parking lot and gives it more visual interest. It would definitely be more appealing than a traditional place to park cars. Everyone can appreciate a touch of greenery.

boat hardware supplies said...

This a great idea how transform the dead life on our cities. This ideas would be give life to all the buildings and change the ugly grey landscape.

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